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The partners of the Alpine Space project YOUrALPS met on February 14th and 15th in the Burgenland to learn from different practices, knowledge and techniques on environmental education.

In the context of a project steering group meeting, the YOUrALPS partners from France, Germany, Italy and Slovenia had the possibility to gain some inspiring knowledge about education practices in the Austrian partner land.
One of the impressive stops was the nature lab in Bad Sauerbrunn, the so called „Werkstatt Natur“, a non for profit institution which was founded by the regional hunter‘s federation. Today, the lab hosts more than 10 000 kids per year which participate in one of the pedagogical programs. There is a wide range of programs according to the varying season and the institution allows also individual programs which are elaborated in cooperation with the teacher of a class. Hence, some programs focus more on re-connecting youngsters to nature by simply bringing them out into the forest and experience the forest according to the very season while others identify a specific topic such as «wildlife and traffic» were they get to know how wildlife perceives and reacts on traffic lights or the „creek hike“ were children discover the role of different living organisms of the water world and may fish for fish. The next stop was dedicated to the use of nature’s ressources such as wild herbs. Uschi Zezelitsch a herb expert and youralps1hedge witch introduced the group to some of her childrens’programs and creative nature interpretation methodologies. Herbs are a perfect tool to introduce children to the world of natural cooking, taking nature’s ingredients and smelling what nature has to offer. Many of the herbs can directly be picked in nearby meadows, others grow easily in the home gardens or inside a plant pot. This way, children and adolescents can try out making their own herbs salt, herbs bread or even a herb „strudel“. Moreover, delicious juices can be easily prepared with wild mint and ginger for example.

Some of these ideas might be included in the contents of the Alpine school model, one of the major YOUrALPS project outputs, aiming at re-connecting youth to their natural environment. Since September 2017, 14 pilot sites have been carrying out activities on education for sustainable development in order to validate the theoretical model and be certified as « Alpine school ». The Alpine School model will be presented at the conference: “ Learning and networking for sustainable development in the Alps. The Alpine School & Our Alps network.“ on May 14 and 15 in Morbegno  (Italy)

For further information please see:

Camping for three days and two nights in the Gesäuse National Park. Experiencing a night in a bivouac or refuge, watching the chamois and discovering your own territory in the Massif des Bauges Regional Natural Park. Feeling and touching the mountain environment through the land art in the Écrins National Park, or being involved in the Youth Council of the Prealpi Giule Regional Nature Park.
Several such experiences and educational programs for children and young people in the Alps were shared during the 5th ALPARC workshop on Mountain Education in Alpine Protected Areas, which took place from the 3rd to the 5th October 2018 in Trenta, Triglav National Park (Slovenia).
In addition to the shared activities, two key themes of environmental education were presented.

The use of new technologies in environmental education
The Slovenian Centre for Outdoor Activities (CSOD) guided the debate on the use of new technologies in outdoor activities. The theoretical approach followed a field experience allowing participants to directly test an application developed by the organization with the participation of teachers. Some barriers remain: the use of new technologies can cause young people to be increasingly disconnected from nature, and technical knowledge and appropriate technologies are sometimes necessary. On the other hand, new technologies can become an educational support in activities. It is clear, however, that their use cannot be dissociated from a direct experience of nature. 

Youth participation in protected areas
The meeting was also an opportunity to discuss the subject of youth participation in protected areas. The experts from the city of Idrija, with Mateuz Straus, facilitated an exchange on the topic. To improve the participation of young people in the running of the park is considered essential to increase young people's awareness of nature protection, allowing them to be anchored in the territory and to become more involved in it. 

Come to the international conference "Learning and networking for sustainable development in the Alps - The Alpine School & OurAlps network" on May 14th and 15th 2019 in Morbegno.

The Alpine School Model, one of the major YOUrALPS project output aiming at re-connecting youth to their natural environment, will be presented at the conference.
The event will give you the opportunity to discover the OurAlps network  and to network with other Alpine stakeholders.

The event is organised in the frame of the INTERREG Alpine Space YOUrALPS project.

To register to the conference and for further information please click here:  





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Pubblicato in Altri eventi nelle Alpi

Educators, teachers, researchers and organizations in the field of education you are all invited to network via the new OurAlps web platform. An interactive map, information on events and news as well as the exchange of educational materials, photos and videos allow all interested people to get involved and contact other actors in different countries. The website is available in five languages and is the central communication tool of the international network of the same name. The network is based on the broad values and principles of environmental education. A link to the YAPP platform, a web site dedicated to youth exchanges, is also included on the OurAlps home page.
The OUrALPS network and its web platform have been developed in the frame of the Interreg Alpine Space project YOUrALPS and they will be officially presented in a conference in Morbegno (Italy) the 14th and 15th of  May 2019.

ALPARC is lead partner for YOUrALPS and responsible for technical and financial management and the coordination of project partners’ activities. Moreover, the network is responsible for the project’s communication activities.
YOUrALPS is an Interreg Alpine Space project and lasts from November 2016 to October 2019. It is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg Alpine Space programme.
For further information about the project, please visit the YOUrALPS website

The YOUrALPS infodays series mark an important chapter in the Interreg Alpine Space project: scientific findings with surprising output on mountain-oriented education were presented to political stakeholders and other interested actors.

The Berchtesgaden National Park was the first in line and organised a two-day conference on education for sustainable development and mountain-oriented education. Around 90 participants joined the conference and discussed specific methods and topics in the Alps, explicitly referring to future perspectives to connect youth increasingly to nature and their Alpine environment. The conference was held in collaboration with the „Arbeitsgemeinschaft Natur und Umweltbildung Bayern“ (ANU) and was inaugurated by Dr. Christian Barth, Department Head of the Bavarian Ministry of Environment.

The French infoday was held in the context of an International Festival on Jobs relating to the mountain environment. Hence, numerous stakeholders active in the territory, including teachers, mountain guides, and employees in the public sector dealing with education topics, participated in a dynamic exchange. Local actors emphasized the necessity of including political actors in the debate to assure the inclusion of mountain-related topics and outdoor education in curricula. Moreover, interest for joining the YOUrALPS initiative became clear: several actors stressed the wish to move their local initiatives onto a larger, international level.

The Lombardy Region was in charge of the organisation of the infoday in Milan. Invitees joined for a half day meeting and got in touch with YOUrALPS pilot sites who presented their activities. Moreover, the Alpine school model which is to serve as a label for those schools engaging in in-depth collaboration with protected areas was presented, implementing the criteria which were developed in a theoretical approach.

For further information please see http://www.alpine-space.eu/projects/youralps/e

GaYA's Youth Participation Toolbox was developed to answer the question on how to effectively engage young people in decision-making processes for the future of the Alps. It was created in the frame of the Interreg Alpine Space project GaYA - Governance and Youth in the Alps. The Toolbox highlights different approaches of youth participation to meet the needs of both young people and politicians. It also addresses the need to adapt the participatory process to the local level.

Therefore, GaYA's Youth Participation Toolbox provides insights, clarify terms and concepts, showcase participatory methods, inspire and motivate. The toolbox presents a selection of case studies, with templates and cards to create your own participation processes and to suggest solutions to some frequent problems.


The toolbox and its contents can be downloaded at :

The official press release in all the alpine languages is available here:


The 4th edition of Youth at the Top took place on the 12th and the 13th of July 2018 in 44 destinations of the Alps and the Carpathians. The event brought together more than 530 young people and had Climate Change as the topic of a common thematic aciton. The two days spent in the mountains were also animated with diverse activities: collecting drinking water and edible and medicinal plants along the way, bathing in the cool rivers, making campfires, watching the stars, and many others!

The press release is available below and at the project's website on this link

To check photos and videos of the event go to Youth at the Top Facebook and Instagram .


The 4th edition of the project is led by ALPARC – The Alpine Network of Protected Areas, with the financial support of the German Ministry of the Environment and the Principality of Monaco.

One of the latest items of news from the Prealpi Giulie Natural Park concerns the foundation of a Youth Advisory Board. As of the day of its foundation there are 13 members, aged 16-30, some of them having had experience of the Junior Ranger program. The board acts as a forum with a regulation approved by the board of the park.

The primary objective is integrating the needs and wishes of the younger generation in order to keep the six municipalities active. In this direction, spokesperson Verena Ambrosino explains: “we want to engage in transboundary connection, in cooperation with the Triglav National park and the Bayerischer Wald Nationalpark, in order to have common projects with other young people and keep our territory alive.”

The first project the youth board will manage is the 4TH edition of Youth at the Top. Hence, it will be the youth representatives themselves who will plan activities for other youngsters to spend together one day and one night in the mountains.

In the next months the park board will also allocate a budget to the Youth Advisory Board which will give them the financial means to get initiatives started.

The YOUrALPS challenge continues. After the start of the pilot activities in September 2017 and further scientific investigation on framework conditions for the development of the Alpine School model, the next step implies the involvement of political stakeholders in the context of the so-called infodays.

With the start of the pilot site activities since September 2017, the bottom-up development of the Alpine School model has been launched: Pilot schools and associated protected areas are aiming at integrating non-formal learning approaches in the teaching of young people either in class or outdoors. In this context the practical experience of non-formal educators enriches the nature experience and will strengthen ties between youngsters and their natural environment.

At the same time a scientific analysis on the framework conditions in all the five Alpine partner countries has been carried out. At the heart of the theoretical approach remains the UNESCO concept of education for sustainable development and its interpretation by every partner country. In this way light is shed on innovative aspects for a multifaceted and interdependent approach to learning.

Hence, in spring 2018, the time will be ripe for presenting these insights to political stakeholders over the whole Alpine territory. Infodays on the project will be held in Austria, Germany, Italy, Slovenia and France, with the goal of mobilizing political influencers and decision takers for the aims of the YOUrALPS project. It is at the political level that willingness to cooperate has to be established and an agreement has to be found to integrate the idea of the Alpine School model into formal school curricula. It is an ambitious goal and there is still a long way to go, but the infodays will be the first step on that way, calling on  political stakeholders to take notice and take action.

ALPARC is lead partner for YOUrALPS and responsible for technical and financial management and the coordination of project partners’ activities. Moreover, the network is responsible for the project’s communication activities.

YOUrALPS is an Interreg Alpine Space project and lasts from November 2016 to October 2019. It is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg Alpine Space programme.

For further information about the project, please visit the YOUrALPS website.

In the frame of the EU Interreg Alpine Space project GaYA (Governance and Youth in the Alps), 15 pilot sites engage in experimental approaches to involve young people in local politics. Four ALPARC members are participating in the project. Besides, the project already boasts some successful actions: an award-winning project teaser and the participation of young people at the EUSALP Forum on 23rd November.

Over the last months, ALPARC and the seven other GaYA partners have selected 15 pilot sites in which work on pilot activities has started. Supported by the GaYA partnership and accompanied by external experts, a set of first workshops involving decision makers, administrations, youth organisations, youth workers and young people have taken place in the majority of the pilot regions. The aim, in a first step, is to develop local participatory action plans that fix objectives for youth participation in policy-making for the years to come; in a second phase, the pilot groups can implement one action within the GaYA project terms, i.e. until December 2018.

The ALPARC operational unit is responsible for this last project stage in 2018. It also has the task of assisting and supporting the pilot activities in the Baronnies Community of Communes (part of the Baronnies Regional Nature Park, France) and in the Préalpes d’Azur Regional Nature Park (both Southern French Alps). Two other areas of the ALPARC network are involved in the project as pilot sites: the Grosse Walsertal in Austria and the Massif des Bauges Regional Nature Park. Major outputs in 2018 will be a participatory toolkit and political recommendations for the inclusion of young people in all Alpine languages.


GaYA teaser awarded at EUSALP forum
On the occasion of the first annual EUSALP forum on November 23rd in Munich, the GaYA project and its teaser which was produced by ALPARC were awarded by the Alpine Space programme among two other projects. The international political forum also was the occasion for a group of young people to express their opinions before decision-makers from the Alpine region. In order to give youth a voice in the Alps in a creative way, an international film contest has recently been launched by CIPRA. The winners are invited to present their films at the final conference of GaYA on November 30th 2018 in Chambéry (details below).

GaYA runs from November 2016 to February 2019 and is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg Alpine Space programme (Total budget: 1,092,748 € - ERDF grant 928,836€). ALPARC is work package leader in the pilot stage (End 2017-2018).


Further resources
Spread information on and take part in the GaYA film competition. Learn more here.
Watch the GaYA teaser video-clip
Take a look at the GaYA comparative report


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